bels wrote:By the end the fugitive seems to have a lot of control over the "servers"
"Finally my fear of death freed me from the irrational belief that I was incompetent. I might have seen the motors through a magnifying glass: they ceased to be a meaningless conglomoration of iron and steel; they had forms and arrangements that permitted me to understand their purpose"
He disconnects them and then later modifies the records so that his own image will live with Faustine.
so first the technology seems opaque, unknowable.. even presented like this it seems a little disappointing that he's able to master it. in 'forbidden planet' when we see the krell servers we look down into some vast cavern, complete with neural-connective electrical impulses (i think, or did i just make that up). the humans can activate it but they're trespassing, its workings are literally unfathomable.
(also compare with fritz lang's contemporaneous 'der frau im mond': lang used the rocket-scientist hermann oberth as consultant, oberth originally wanted to build a working rocket which then would've been right at the limit of foreseeable technology. oberth later taught von braun who designed the uber-thanatic V2 (cf pynchon etc) and then worked on the apollo landings.)
my reflex impulse thinking about the ending is to find it unsatisfactory- compare with vertigo etc which embraces the idea that desire is by its nature unrealisable, as lacan would say the 'objet petit a' has to remain out of reach. there must be a jam in the system. but then i wonder if what's required is a shift in perspective?? granted the 'lives' of the images seems insipid - for me rather akin to a lot of modern new age consciousness actually- but in fact doesn't the fugitive take a step into the realm of the pure machinic. couldn't you see this as a very early manifestation of the post-human? as kittler says, technology was always- from its very origins- going to transcend our understanding. (theres a hint of this in the otherwise pretty crappy scar-jo vehicle where joaquin phoenix falls in love with her as an operating system- only to realise at the end that her capabilities are effectively infinite and so far in excess of his that he has to let her go)